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Endowments at UVA

Joseph C. Smiddy Chair


The name of Joseph C. Smiddy will always be closely associated with Clinch Valley College, now the University of Virginia's College at Wise. As the College's first chancellor from 1957 until his retirement in 1985, he oversaw the institution's development from a two-year school to a four-year college that is of tremendous benefit to the citizens of southwest Virginia. Now chancellor emeritus and professor emeritus of biology, Mr. Smiddy is a graduate of Lincoln Memorial University and George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. He completed additional graduate work at the College of William and Mary and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His service to education and his dedication to preserving the region's Appalachian heritage have received wide recognition. He has been presented with honorary doctorates from his alma mater, Lincoln Memorial University (1970), as well as from the University of Richmond (1975) and the College of William and Mary (1985). Most recently the Appalachian Consortium named him the recipient of the Laurel Leaves Award. Although Joseph Smiddy's academic training was in the natural sciences, he has always maintained a truly liberal arts perspective on education. His personal interests include music, literature, and history. He and his wife, Reba, are known throughout southwest Virginia for their performances of traditional Appalachian music. Mr. Smiddy continues his service to the people of the region through child advocacy and older-citizen programs as well as through his work on health care-related projects. As the College's first chancellor, Mr. Smiddy successfully met the challenge of attracting and retaining quality faculty members at a small institution in rural Appalachia. To help the College continue to meet this need, admirers of Mr. Smiddy made gifts to the College in 1994 with the purpose of creating an endowed chair in honor of the chancellor
emeritus. With the encouragement of such major donors as Penn Virginia Resource Partners and Norton attorney Don Pippin, dozens of individuals and corporations contributed to the fund. The professorship is not restricted to a particular department but may be assigned as needed to maintain the strength of the College's faculty.

This chair is currently vacant

History of Past Recipients and Projects